Peer Gynt Suite No. 1

Born in Bergen, Norway in 1843.
 His mother was a gifted pianist.
 She taught him music and piano.
 Grieg was a nationalist composer.
 He used Norwegian folk music in his
 He composed orchestral, chamber and
piano music as well as 120 songs.
Henry Ibsen asked Grieg to compose the
music for his play Peer Gynt.
 The premiere of this play was in 1876
 It was a huge success.
 This made Grieg a well known national
 The incidental music from Peer Gynt was
later arranged into a suite by Grieg.
 Grieg died in 1907 after a long period of
Peer Gynt is a character from the 18th
 Legend has it that he wasn’t invited to a
wedding so he gate crashed it.
 He took the bride and abandoned her in
the mountains, making him a wanted
 He took refuge in the underground
caves in the land of the trolls
He was attacked by the trolls.
 He built a hut high in the mountains, with
a village girl, Solveig who loved him.
 He left her to visit his dying mother
 He was still in risk of capture.
 He also went to Morroco and met Anitra
 She danced for him and stole everything
from him.
 Leaving him stranded in the dessert.
 Finally he returned home where Solveig
had been waiting for him.
It was originally Incidental Music:
background music performed before
and between acts of a play.
 It was later arranged into a Suite: music
originally composed for a ballet or play
which a composer rearranges into for
performance in a concert.
 It is also Programme music which is music
that tells a story.
 Intended to introduce scene in the
Sahara Desert.
 It is influenced by the Norwegian
 The sun rising over the mountains and
Anitras Dance
 Anitra is a dancer who dances for Peer.
 She then steals everything from him.
 And leaves him stranded in the dessert.
In the Hall of the Mountain King
The trolls emerge from the dark shadowy
caves and surround Peer.
They dance and taunt him until he is
The tension is built up by a melodic ostinato,
played 18 times.
It begins low and dark which is registered
by the cellos, basses and bassoons.
The music builds to a high point in a
dramatic crescendo.
Anitras Dance
In the Hall of the
Mountain King
Clarinets in A
Clarinet in A
4 French horns
2 Trumpets
4 French horns
2 Trumpets
2 Tenor
Bass trombone
Bass drum
Violin 1/2
Double bass
Violin 1/2 (mute)
Viola (mute)
Cello (mute)
Double bass
Violin 1/2
Double bass
Time Signature: 6/8
 Key Signature: E major
 Texture: homophonic-a melody
supported by chords
 Tempo: Allegretto pastorale, a little fast
and pastoral.
 Tonality: major
 Form: Ternary: A B A Coda
Ornamentation: decoration in melody
e.g. grace notes (bar 2), trills (bar 72).
 Antiphony: question and answer, the
flute and the oboe have a
“conversation” in bars 1-20.
 Dynamics: capture the scene of the
 Sequence: the repetition of a melodic
idea up or down a step bar 39.
The movement begins with the (i)f_ _ _ _ playing the
main 4-bar melody. This is repeated an (ii)o_ _ _ _ _
lower by another woodwind instrument the (iii)o_ _ _.
These two instruments continue to share this theme,
alternating with each other, at 4-bar, the 1-bar, then
half-bar intervals. The (iv)s_ _ _ _ family then takes
over the theme, playing (v)f_ _ _ _ (loudly). There is a
crescendo building up to the highpoint in bar 30.
The next section begins with a dramatic flowing
melody on a lower string instrument, the (i)c_ _ _ _.
The (ii)d_ _ _ _ _ _ _ vary a lot, from piano to
(iii)f_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. The strings have lots of
(iv)s_ _ _-q_ _ _ _ _ _. The music in this section
(v)m _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (changes key) several times.
At bar 50, the (i)h_ _ _ plays the main tune,
now in the key of C major. This instrument
belongs to the (ii)b_ _ _ _ family. A long
chord follows on the (iii)s_ _ _ _ _ _. The
(iv)c _ _ _ _, (v)b _ _ _ _ _ _ and (vi)o_ _ _
then take up the melody and it returns to E
major. The (vii)h_ _ _ finishes this section
with some long notes.
d. The coda begins quietly on the
(i)s_ _ _ _ _ _, answered by a mellowsounding woodwind instrument, the
(ii) c_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Long sustained chords on
the horn, with rallentando, lead to the
(iii) f_ _ _ _ echoing the first two bars of the
piece, followed by the (iv)b_ _ _ _ _ _. The
final bars feature the strings and the full
orchestra, (v)t_ _ _ _.
Time Signature: 3/4
 Key Signature: A minor and D major
 Texture: homophonic- melody supported
by chords and polyphonic- more than
one melody playing at the same time.
 Tempo: Mazurka- lively
 Tonality: modal, minor in section A and
major in section B
 Form: Ternary: A B A
It has only one percussion instrument, the
triangle. The other instruments are from the
string section the violin, viola, cello and
double bass.
 The stringed instruments play both pizzicato
(plucked) e.g. bar 3 and arco (with a bow)
e.g. bar 23.
 Trills are rapid alternation between 2 notes,
e.g. bar 9 and grace notes e.g. bar 54.
 The tonality changes from minor (bars 1-38)
to major (bars 39-41) and then minor again
(bars 42-91), therefore it is modal.
Time Signature: 4/4
Key signature: B minor
Texture: homophonic- melody supported by
chords and polyphonic- more than one
melody playing at the same time.
Tempo: alla marcia e molto marcato:
march like but marked
Tonality: minor
Form: ritarnello: which is a recurring
passage of music
A 4 bar melody is repeated 18 times
throughout the piece, this is a melodic ostinato.
An ostinato is a melodic or rhythmic pattern
repeated over and over again.
The dynamics are gradually leading to a
highpoint at the end therefore it is crescendo
throughout the whole piece.
Sringendo al fine is written on this music, this
means hurry to the end.
Tremolo: technic used on drums, if there are 2
lines on the note you quarter the value playing
in the same time and if there is only 1 then you
half it.

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